And it was Home- Pretoria-South Africa

In order to understand the facts and the memoirs of the time-


I was a Sixties Girl!


This home in Gezina, Pretoria is mostly remembered  by me as a home filled with  ‘first times.‘   

A home of change!

It was only an old house, but new to us.  Freshly painted with many more odd jobs and DIY for Dad to do before it was really ‘home’, but for all four of the kids it was a mansion from the day we moved in! 


Our mansion, from then on, always known as “9th Avenue”.

We had shops around the corner for the first time in our lives, having lived in more remote areas before.  A municipal bus route, a bus every 15 minutes, where we just got on and paid to travel!  


Where shall we go?  The city was so big and scary and we had so much to learn.  People dressed to go into town then, just to go shopping !


In many ways it spelt the word ‘freedom’ for us;  we had never realized just how restricted we were in Bon Accord outside town, because as children we knew no other way.  We had been happy there too; but now we were ecsatatic!

 There were pet changes.  We got our first puppy, Santa, at Christmastime!   Ruby our old dog had just passed away, Santa was also a smooth haired dachshund.


The OK bazaars and Woolworths were within walking distance in our area, on Voortrekker road.  Mom was in her element! (The picture below is not Voortrekker road O.K., O.K!)


Schools were so much more accessible, friends could visit and we were able to go to the ‘bioscope’ together on a Saturday afternoon.  That is a word from our past, but also what all our cinemas in SA were known as.  The bioscope cost us 25cents to get in and we had an extra 25 cents for a drink and sweets left over. 

The main feature film was accompanied by a comedy, but before that we watched BBC  news in black and white and forthcoming attractions.  Going to the bioscope in town was more of a social event than going to the movies today, and we would dress up on a Saturday afternoon catching a bus into town.

Drive In

Drive in Cinema’s began to pop up all around Pretoria and we loved them; but sadly our Dad was not a movie man, therefore only took us very occasionally and very reluctantly after many a family argument.

The Pretoria railway station (see below) designed by Sir Herbert Baker was rarely visited by us any more; it was place we had frequented monthly for long haul shopping which we took home to the country.  We now had no more need to use trains for travel. 


We had arrived!

By the time we moved to Gezina, Dad and Mom had being living in South Africa for 14 years and for the very first time employed a housemaid to clean and iron on a daily basis.   Her name was Maria, and she became part of our family for the next 12 years.

On Sundays we often went out for a picnic to Fountains near Lyttleton, where there were plenty of open spaces to run and play and a little steam train to ride on.  We also visited the Union Buildings, more of Sir Herbert Baker’s architecture.


 I was allowed to have my first grown up party when I turned 16!  Those were the days when the whole front room was cleared for dancing: the ‘Bop’ and the ‘Jive’ were around then, with the ‘Twist’ just waiting to make an entrance.

And this was me!

Men and Marriage, pretty much said it all... and the broomstick.......?

Men and Marriage, pretty much said it all… and the broomstick…….?

Our mother planned the first wedding from our home and my sister had two bridesmaids, I got to be one – a 1960’s wedding!

Pat, Betty and Irene

Then the first boyfriend came along, who ended up husband to be, in fact; and everthing fell into place from then onwards.  It is strange how when we are living “the now”, it all seems so right and the only thing you want to do.  Is this because we don’t know “the then”?

What is it really all about?

The next wonderful first was, that I became an Aunt to the cutest little person, a nephew; 


and the first extension to our Irish family in South Africa.


A member of our family who’s friendship, humour and opinion I appreciate to this day, as an honoured member of our family.

Someone “The Oldies” had a HUGE soft spot for too, as the first grandchild of  nine.

This is for my entry in Alphabe Thursday for letter “P” 


About liz2you

Life just happens when you plan something else. 50 years spent in Africa and relevant stories.
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10 Responses to And it was Home- Pretoria-South Africa

  1. lissa says:

    sounds like you have great memories in Pretoria. though for me, I could hardly remember turning 16. thanks for the memories.

    have a great day.

  2. Hi this was a fab post. What an insight into life in pretoria.
    A local friend is from there and tells a differemt story now

  3. joanfrankham says:

    I love to read your memories of that time.

  4. fredamans says:

    Lovely photos and memories! Love the wedding dress and bridesmaids gowns… you all look beautiful!

  5. Pretoria sounds like a perfect place to grow up…

    I bet the bioscope played quite a few classics…

    I am glad you shared these pleasant memories for the letter “P”!

    Thanks for linking.


    • liz2you says:

      Jenny, they were pleasant days and it was perfect there; now sadly all has changed there. But that is life!
      My blog is about snippets I remember which make others smile. It is not a documentary, only the day dreams of a dozey sixties doll!!

  6. Phyllis says:

    Hi there,
    My grandmother owned the bioscope in Gezina in Pretoria – I am currently busy trying to piece together stories from that time – do you have any memories that you would be prepared to share with me? You can email me at Hope to hear from you! Phyllis

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